Meet AIEOP’s Board of Directors

Each week we are featuring one of AIEOP’s board members as an opportunity to know their work as leaders of the association and as individuals part of the international pediatric oncology medical community!

MEET Dr. Raffaella Colombatti!

City: Padova
Institution: University of Padova
Position: Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Padova; Head of the Anemia Group, Pediatric Hematology Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Azienda-Ospedale-Università di Padova; Affiliated Professor School of Systems Biology, College of Science, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia (USA)

What is your academic and/or professional background (degree and specialty)?
I obtained my MD degree, Pediatric Residency and Fellowship in Pediatric Hematology Oncology as well as my PhD in Pediatric Hematology Oncology at the University of Padova, Italy; I spent six months in Guinea Bissau, West Africa for part of my PhD research.

What is your focus or particular interests in your field?
My main field of interest is nonmalignant hematology with a focus on red blood cell disorders, especially sickle cell disease. I am also interested in global hematology and I am particularly working to strengthen the collaboration, the collaborative projects and clinical trials among European centers and between European, American and African centers in the field of rare hematologic diseases. 

In addition, I believe that a patient centered approach is needed and that patients and health experts must work together to achieve personalized medicine in rare genetic hematological disorders. Standardized health data collection, natural history studies and dataset interoperability are also an important field of research for me from a national, European and global perspective.

What are your specific tasks and responsibilities with the Advisory Board?
I am specifically involved in the field of nonmalignant hematology and in ensuring participation and collaboration of the AIEOP Advisory Board with the AIEOP Working Groups involved in nonmalignant hematology (red cell disorders, bone marrow failures, coagulation, and thrombosis and immune deficiencies). 

What is your goal or hope for AIEOP? 
My goal is ensuring that AIEOP fully develops its patient centered approach bridging the gaps between research and care for all patients with nonmalignant hematological disorders in Italy, within its network of expert centers and in collaboration with the general pediatricians. I also believe that AIEOP is a key player in the national and international network of expert centers caring for children, adolescents and young adults with hematological conditions; and this role needs to be realized.

What is your life motto or quote in which you live by a professional and individual? 
“What unites us is much greater than what divides us.” (John XXIII) – This quote speaks to me because we need to build bridges in medicine and care, from a scientific and emotional point of view.

*** The AIEOP Board of Directors has the responsibility to achieve the statutory objectives and verify that the association’s activities are carried out in compliance with the provisions of the statute and regulations. It is their duty to promote and encourage all initiatives aimed at increasing and enhancing the humanisation of care for the hemato-oncological children and their families.